CLINTON — The Hensley Disposal Service has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming the city has been picking up garbage from its private customers.

The lawsuit describes Hensley Disposal as a solid waste pickup and disposal service, licensed to pick up solid waste in the city. The lawsuit claims that in September 2011, the city began “intentionally and improperly” picking up garbage from customers of Hensley Disposal without any instructions from the customers and without cost to those customers. As a result, Hensley Disposal is claiming a loss of revenue and a loss of customers.

The lawsuit also claims the action took the company’s property without cause, which violated the state and federal constitutions that protected Hensley Disposal’s civil rights.

The suit seeks reimbursement for the loss of revenue, the cost of the action and other relief as appropriate.

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The suit was filed in Clinton County District Court by attorney Blake Parker of Clinton. It was received by Clinton City Attorney Jeff Farwell on Monday, and the city had made no response.

The city started an automated garbage pickup program last fall, but has experienced billing issues with its service. All residents have been charged a monthly base fee of $9.25 since December, but residents who use the city service have not been billed the tipping fees each time their garbage bin is emptied because of problems in getting various computer programs merged.